The Academy of Talented Scholars

Grades K-5
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Unique enrichment clusters; strong in the arts.

The Downside

Inadequate common schoolyard.

Our Review

P.S. 682, The Academy of Talented Scholars (TAOTS), is a small school where hands on learning is emphasized and academics are fused with arts.

Founding Principal Josephine Sportella-Giusto drew on her 15 years as a teacher to create the blueprint for TAOTS while studying at the New York City Leadership Academy. Central to her vision is the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), a model that is often used with gifted children. SEM students take regular classes as well as a variety of non-academic classes, which include no more than 12 students at a time.

Children, who get to pick the special classes, seemed excited and engaged during our visit. Among the many choices are: Guitar Mania, Italian Dancers, Ju Jitsu, Kindergarten Math Wizards, Shutterbug Society, Spanish Explorers, TAOTS Reporters, TAOTS Top Chefs, World Artists, Young Publishers, Young Yogas and Yoginis, and Zumba. Projects range from kindergartners digging into a slice of watermelon to find out if their estimates of how many seeds were in a slice were correct, to a class that blends creating poetry with painting. When we visited, third graders in the Top Chef cluster were learning how to make sushi while getting a background on Japanese culture. All necessary enrichment equipment is provided by the school, from iPads for the blogging cluster, to guitars for the music cluster.

Teachers often work with the help of trained, parent volunteers. Students also complete writing assignments about what they learned.

The academy was founded in 2009 and shares its building with two other schools; a District 75 school and The Brooklyn School of Inquiry. The building is modern and colorful, both inside and out. Currently, the school is K-3, but the school will continue to expand until it is K-5.

On the second floor, a brightly colored hallway leads straight into the TAOTS main office; a pleasant, airy space with enough seats to accommodate the handful of kids that stop by in the afternoon to wait for their parents.

A partnership with Reach the World, an organization that allows students to connect with world travelers through video conferencing, enhances the social studies curriculum. The school is part of Tribes, a community building organization.

TAOTS is rich in arts and technology. Interactive whiteboards and computers are in most of the classrooms. Students take technology classes, learning how to produce presentations and improve their research skills. Art and music instruction is offered to all students.

School facilities include a home economics room and a science lab. The large double gym, cafeteria, and library are shared with the other two schools occupying the building. The school's uniform policy is loosely enforced.

TAOTS has an active Parent Teacher Organization. Parent volunteers assist with cluster classes and run the library. A math workshop helps parents to better understand the math curriculum.

Special education: TAOTS offers an ASD Nest program and other special education services. The ASD Nest Program serves children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Students with ASD learn in a classroom alongside typically developing children, taught by two teachers who have been trained in the programs specialized curriculum and teaching strategies. All special education students are integrated in regular classes. The building is handicapped accessible.

After school: In partnership with Project Success, TOATS offers an after school program called the Test Prep Academy. The Academy meets three times a week.

Admissions: Admission is by lottery with priority to District 20 students. (Eliana Mascio, February 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
360
Asian
18.3%
Black
4.4%
Hispanic
14.2%
White
61.9%
Other
1.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
36%
Students with disabilities
26%
English language learners
5%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Lucretia Marcigiliano Campus with one other school
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
69%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
9%
21% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
87%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
98%
85% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
7.0
6.6 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
89%
87% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
84%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
47%
78% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
98%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
87% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
93%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
97%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
98%
87% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
77%
40% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
80%
39% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Music
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
33%
22% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for self-contained students
3.11
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.91
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
96%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
91%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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